This is one of those activities that checks all the “enough” boxes: enough money, enough fun, enough time with the family.
1) When you prepare your meal at home, you are eating in the most economical way. For many families, this is the simplest way to save hundreds of dollars every single month.
2) When you prepare your meal at home, you can fix it exactly as you and your family like it whether you are preparing low-fat chicken breast pizza or low-mess cheese sticks and sliced apples for your toddlers.
3) Eating a meal together is one of the strongest bonding things humans do together. You did want to bond with your family, right?
4) With the proper attitude, eating as a family can be a fun part of the day. Sure, you want to teach them table manners, but even that can be done in a playful way. Growing up, my brothers and I had some stiff rules for table behavior. But, if one of us caught another not following the rules, we could send them on a lap around the kitchen. We learned quickly, we could miss out on seconds if our misbehavior was poorly timed. It is a great time to share what has occurred during the day so far, plan for the rest of the week, and just be together. Doing so creates a family culture, a shared history…..a bond.
5) It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to fix a family dinner. (Remember the toddler dinner of cheese sticks and apple slices?) Do food prep on a day off work, to make things smoother later in the week. There are slow-cookers and stir-fries and simple sandwiches. Reality is, you can have food on the table faster than it would take to go through the drive through at the local fast-food place.
6) Cooking with your family can also be a fun time. Teaching kids to cook, sharing the creation of the menu and the meal, more good times.